Robert Kourik has written 14 books on a variety of topics including drip irrigation, environmentally-sound homes, edible landscaping, and lavender. His articles have appeared in numerous national
publications, including seven in The New York Times. He has received two national awards for the best
article of the year from the Garden Writers Association. Kourik has authored or co-authored 14 books
pertaining to a sustainable home and garden.
Kourik began his career in organic landscape maintenance in 1974, at a time when there were no
convenient pellitized organic fertilizers for lawns and virtually no concrete guidelines. It was seat-ofthe-
pants learning. He received much of his early training and continuing education credits in life skills
from the School of Hard Knocks. During the next 25 years, he honed his horticulture-related skills by
working with clients throughout California and the U.S. During that time, he worked on design projects
of all sizes, shapes, and textures—water gardens, paths and patios, elegant arbors, habitat gardens,
innovative home playgrounds, outdoor barbecue areas, deer-resistant gardens and landscapes, and lowprofile and attractive deer fences, to name a few.
In the late 1970s, he wrote a book that has become a classic in its field, helping to define the genera of
gardening now known as “edible landscaping”. It is his lack of formal college training in horticulture
that enabled him to envision and interpret this new interdisciplinary approach to gardening and
landscaping. Although Kourik focused primarily on organic, natural, sustainable, integrated systems,
permaculture, and appropriate horticulture methods, as a result of his continual on-the-job training, he
has become handy at—and considered an authority on—a host of gardening and landscape-related skills.
He’s still trying to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks.
Kourik lives in Northern California among towering redwoods, many varieties of lavender, and
spreading oak trees with lots of deer. His extensive, twenty-year-old ornamental and herbal drought- and
deer-resistant garden and orchard have never been watered and only mulched . . . no tilling allowed.